League to get tough on grapple tacklers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

League to get tough on grapple tacklers

By Darren Walton 31/05/2004 07:27:22 PM Comments (0)

The National Rugby League has warned all 15 clubs it will launch a crackdown on the controversial grapple tackle this weekend.

The NRL opted not to lay any charges following round 12 matches, despite referees' boss Robert Finch referring three tackles from Saturday night's Newcastle-Melbourne match to the league's match review committee for further scrutiny.

Melbourne introduced the maligned ploy last season and will be breathing a heavy sigh of relief at no action being taken against it after Newcastle skipper Danny Buderus made an on-field complaint about the Storm's tackling style during Saturday's 28-18 loss to the southerners.

But the NRL's chief operating officer Graham Annesley said all clubs had been placed on notice that the grapple - or headlock-style - tackle wouldn't be tolerated in future.

"We want to eradicate this undesirable and potentially dangerous tactic from the game," Annesley said.

"We sent circulars to every club today saying that from round 13, the grapple tackle will come under greater scrutiny.

"Although one club (Melbourne) is getting all the publicity, we're saying it's more widespread than that.

"We've drawn a line in the sand and put everyone on notice that this tactic won't be tolerated."

In deciding to lay no charges over grapple tackles from last weekend, the match review committee decided it would be inappropriate to begin taking action against certain players in isolation when it believed such a tactic was becoming increasingly widespread.

Rather than be accused of launching a crackdown without warning, the NRL advised the clubs exactly how it would police the grapple tackle from now on.

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